The scales of justice

Hertfordshire Mercury, 28th April 1906


At the Watford Petty Sessions on Tuesday, William E Woods, of no fixed abode, was charged with false pretences at Rickmansworth on September 6th, 1905.

Inspector Turner deposed that on Saturday last he went to Canterbury, where he found the prisoner detained. Witness read the warrant produced to him and he made no reply. He then brought him to Watford. Prisoner first stated that he did not know where Rickmansworth was, but afterwards admitted to receiving 10 shillings from Mrs Hulbert for rectifying weights and scales. He had in his possession a small pair of scales and small weights.

Matilda Hulbert, wife of Charles Hulbert, grocer, of Rickmansworth, stated that the prisoner came into the shop and said that he was ”Government contractor for weights and scales”, and he lived in Watford. He inspected three pairs of scales and she paid him 10 shillings. He gave her receipts which he tore out of a book. She had only just taken possession of the shop.

Cross-examined by prisoner: ‘I gave you 3d. for a drink’. Supt. Wood; Then he had 10s. 3d.  from you altogether? Witness: Yes. Mr. William G. Rushworth, inspector of weights and measures, said the tools produced (found in a box carried by prisoner) were of no use in adjusting weights. He believed that the prisoner was what was known in the trade as a ”woffler”. Prisoner pleaded guilty and it was stated that he had been previously convicted of similar offences.  He was now sentenced to three months’ hard labour.

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